Cabbage-PB w:creditsand._2
I don't remember exactly when I began eating this oddity, but it was more than a decade ago and I've been lunching happily on peanut butter and cabbage sandwiches during the week ever since. I'm a raw cabbage fanatic and attribute my virile good health to consuming several pounds of it each week when I'm at home working.  It's filling, has a satisfying crunch, is almost entirely fiber.  A spread of peanut butter seasons it and provides just enough fat to make the meal satisfying.  I add some carrots for salty sweetness.

We all love dinner.  Many argue that breakfast is their favorite meal and of course it's "the most important meal of the day" (who came up with this slogan?—I do fine on coffee and Crest), but no one ever talks about lunch.  It's the afterthought, the stepchild meal.  In America, at least.  When I spent three weeks with a family in France, the family all returned home for a feast at midday–truly civilized. Europe, bless them, still believes in naps.

My cabbage sandwich made me curious.  I posted a while back on staple meals.  What are your staple lunches?  Lunch specific dishes, that is, that are not obvious (ham and cheese sandwich) or based on leftovers microwaved at the office. The more eccentric the better.  It seems to me that eccentricity should flourish at lunch.


161 Wonderful responses to “Lunch: Peanut Butter and Cabbage Sandwich”

  • Phillip C

    A quart of whole milk. When I am rushing out of the door in the AM, and have a long day ahead of me of auditions and real estate appointments in NYC, I find a quart of milk to have good protein, carbs and nutrients to keep me going. Needless to say, on a hot summer day – “milk is a poor choice” – to quote Ron Burgundy.

  • mattatouille

    my girlfriend jumped all over this when she saw it on my blogroll. she’s a raw cabbage lover too. We do neglect lunch here in America as evidenced by the dozens of people who heat up frozen meals from the freezer aisle EVERY day at my office. It’s truly a shame. These days I’ve been packing lunch – I love simple rice, pickled korean vegetables, and maybe some dumplings.

  • lisadelrio

    After I read this post I double checked my calendar to make sure it’s not April 1.

    However, my husband eats a fresh jalapeno with peanut butter every weekday morning.

  • Jenn S.

    Wow, I am loving all the ideas in this thread! Love the cabbage and PB sandwich…I think I’d add siracha sauce to it, to give it that spicy asian twist.

    When I’m at home, my favorite lunch is grilled peanut-butter and cheddar cheese. So good. The cheese and PB melt together in a salty sweet combo that can’t be beat.

  • Beau

    Great sourdough bread toasted, buttered with two soft-medium poached eggs, kosher salt and pepper. Or great bread with tomatoes that have been dressed with olive oil, kosher salt, some garlic and pepper and let sit to develop a delicious juice to be sopped up with the bread.

  • Debbie Franco

    Lunch for me is usually leftovers from home, or since I work in the downtown part of my city with lots of restaurants around, whatever I’m in the mood for that day. I love peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, but have never even thought about peanut butter and cabbage. I may have to try that out.

    Breakfast is my eccentric meal. Sometimes I have bacon and eggs, but usually have either ramen noodles or homemade soup. I like the warm comfort of soup and it sure is tastier than oatmeal or cold cereal.

  • Steph

    I agree with whomever said he/she had no idea how this fit in your mouth. That looks like half a head of cabbage in your sandwich there!

    My staple starts with the no. 3 combo pho from my favorite local Vietnamese restaurant (rare brisket, tripe, tendon). I save the broth and top it off with new rice noodles and new bean sprouts for a few days. I know it sounds gross but honestly, I don’t care. It’s economical, and I’m unemployed.

  • RhodeIslandRed

    Some of these sound fantastic and Justin, that egg sand. is something I want right now at almost 11:00 at night! But, I have to admit to leftovers as well for lunch. My one gulity and disgusting pleasure is leftover salad with good olive oil and red wine vinegar from the night before that wasn’t finished. All of the lettuce and vegetables limp with the marinade and a good hunk of tough crusted artisan bread to soak it all up with. Throw in a piece of hardcore dark chocolate for dessert grated on the bread and I’m ready to finish the afternoon.

  • john atkinson

    i’ll try this but probably in a corn tortilla. we eat about 15 a day in the restaurant. maybe with some fish sauce in a rice flour pancake!

  • Merry

    Its so nice to meet someone else who is a cabbage head like myself :-).
    I must admit that you top me with that combo. We eat a lot of cabbage because it is rich in calcium, and is a great substitute for my kids who don’t drink milk.
    My lunch staples, because I work at home are fast and easy, like a microwaved backed potato, with a tuna topping or salad (cabbage maybe), or a pepper with cottage cheese inside, or just good old left overs.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I’m BAAaaacccckkkk….mine is not so eccentric except that it began only a year ago: Peanut butter and sliced banana sandwiches or open faced accompanied by a cup of coffee…

  • Amanda

    My staple lunch is brown rice with marinated tofu that I’ve seared off and a green veggie. This week it’s chinese cabbage and organic kale that I braised in homemade chicken broth with some chipotle chile powder added.

  • Metaxa

    Whenever we cook (stir fry or scallop) cabbage I always have to cut up a third more than we need as the snacking from the raw cabbage pile is epidemic in the household. Going to try this sandwich for sure.

    Mine? Toasted wheat bread, skimmed with mayo, lots of onion bedded in the mayo with a pinch of salt and many grinds of pepper and sardines, almost as thick as that cabbage slice up top.

  • Zenpup

    Cream cheese with olives. Preferably very salty, green ones, stuffed with pimientos. On party rye. I was a skinny fussy eater as a kid, and my Mother tried all sorts of things, including leftovers from their “card evenings.” Hence the cream cheese and olives. Peanut butter and bacon is also a favorite…but also a food crime, too, now that I’m not a skinny kid anymore.

  • michelle

    I’m really glad to hear that I’m not the only one who eats raw cabbage. Hmm, I’ll have to try that peanut butter cabbage sandwich thing. Sounds interesting. I recently did a post on my blog about a quick lunch made of canned beans. If you give ’em a good rinse and doctor ’em up with some onion and seasoning, they’re not bad. Also, I like to take some good olive oil, heat it up and infuse it with red pepper flakes, some sliced garlic, and pour it over warm pasta and you’ve got a tasty lunch.

  • Ohiogirl

    Soup Soup Soup and Soup for lunch! With good bread. Second choice – leftovers from dinner.

    And peanut butter and cabbage? Hmmm. My mom has sworn by peanut butter, mayo and lettuce since her childhood. She still eats it today :

  • cherylk

    Sarah, I thought I was the only other person in the world who grew up eating grilled peanut butter with chili. I made it for my son and his Frat house the last time I visited and they all loved it. My favorite lunch would be a BLT, a cup of soup and a big glass of un-sweet tea.

  • madgreek

    This is good stoner food. Are you sure you didn’t come up with this in college? 🙂

    Something about this really made sense to me. I often snack on cabbage, brussels sprouts, or broccoli while cooking. I had one of these sandwiches for lunch this weekend with fresh homemade oatmeal wheat bread spread with about a tablespoon of organic Maranatha peanut butter on each slice, a 1″ thich slice of cabbage, some thin carrot slices, and fresh red cherry chiles. I dipped it in sriracha. The heat from the chiles and sriracha combined with the textures and flavors coming out of that sandwich made for a really satisfying lunch. Thanks for sharing the idea.

    Part of me thinks you’re messing with us. Sort of like conducting your own little social experiment to see how many actually make this strange sandwich. I did start salivating when I read your description of it. I am Pavlov’s dog. You got me.

  • Beanie

    “Good Stoner Food” Ha!

    Oh, man…somebody said Grilled Cheese and Pickle Sandwich. Where’s my frying pan? Oh, snap! I’m at work!

  • p_chefy

    My three-year-old’s favorite lunch is plain yogurt with chopped fresh or frozen fruit mixed in, and granola sprinkled on top. Sometimes he doesn’t want the granola and prefers goldfish crackers in his yogurt. I stick with the granola.

    I tend to wake up hungry so not eating breakfast is not an option for me.

  • Alison

    One of my favs is my Marinated Steak and Portobello Mushroom Sandwich.

    Made with leftover steak (or freshly grilled), it’s delicious in any bread, especially warmed pita pockets or tortilla wraps.

    1 pound thinly sliced grilled or broiled steak
    1 or 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced, sautéed or grilled
    1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
    1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
    lettuce leaves
    your choice of bread

    Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl or heavy plastic bag. Add balsamic vinaigrette. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    Place lettuce leaves on bread and top with the steak, mushrooms, tomato and pepper mixture.

    More often than not, I serve it with freshly made cole slaw.

  • liz

    Growing up, my grandfather Ernie used to make us peanut butter and mayo sandwiches. The mayo had to be Helman’s. The combination was famtastic. It wasn’t until I started to bring the sandwich to school, and the other kids were grossed out by it, did I realize it was a weird combo.

  • Chico

    Peanut butter and marshmallow cream grilled on sourdough bread…yyyuuuummmm!

  • Matt

    I work from home and a few times a week I make homemade ramen using chicken broth, rice noodles, soy sauce, hot sauce, carrots, frozen peas and an egg. It’s quick, inexpensive and very satisfying.

  • Michael

    Nothing beats a good old fashioned peanut butter and bacon sandwhich on toasted whole wheat bread. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid and I’m in my mid 40’s now.


  • Will

    Two thick slices whole wheat bread, warmed but not quite toasted. Spread a half avocado over one like a paste, top with a few slices of crisped bacon, a medium handful of sprouts (alfalfa, mustard, etc.) and a generous couple of splashes of hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula). Apply second piece of bread, slice in half, voila. The only problem is if I eat too fast there’s another half avocado just waiting . . .

  • Jenna

    I am intrigued by this. Big raw cabbage fan myself. If my family has cabbage with a meal, I always request mine uncooked.

  • Erin

    What’s the red stuff in the bottom of the sandwich? Doesn’t quite look like carrots to me. . .

    In Russia, cabbage is unbelievably cheap, the perfect thing for a grad student’s diet and wallet. At the market, you can get a giant head of cabbage and a kilo each of onions, carrots, potatoes, and five bulbs of garlic for under $4. This is enough for soup for about two weeks–and soup’s great three times a day! (of course, those three times are: lunch, dinner, and 2 a.m.–with a time schedule and diet like that, breakfast never sounds appealing anyway)

  • tokyoastrogirl

    I bring my lunch every single day, mostly because I don’t want to plunk down $10 for a mediocre meal that I have to go fetch and also for health reasons (reason #1 being is I don’t want to gain 50 pounds eating out every meal!). Most days it’s just a combo of leftovers from the night before, but sometimes it’s a raw onion sandwiches. I Love Raw Onion Sandwiches!

    The best version is made with 2 slices of thick, white, Japanese toast, a liberal spreading of Kewpie mayonnaise (ONLY Kewpie will do) and a few slices of thick cut, rinsed sweet onions & a dash of black pepper. Of course if I’m lucky enough to have any carmelized onions left over to make a sandwich, I’d make one with those and a slice of gruyere on nine-grain toast, but I love onions in any form.

  • tokyoastrogirl

    PS. I’m a cabbage lover myself, but my body makes, er, quite a bit of noise everytime I eat it. It certainly isn’t due to any lack of fiber in my daily diet (I never met a veggie I didn’t like) but cabbage really sets me off. Sorry to be so frank, but how to do avoid that? That’s a big hunk of cabbage there!

  • kayenne

    I think what rockandroller is describing would be bibimbap. A korean staple. and i’m craving for it for days now! YUMM!!!

    This is more of a kiddie clubhouse i created when i was little for afternoon snacks, but would occasionally have for lunch nowadays when it’s just me.

    toasted bread
    peanut butter
    sliced banana
    strawberry jam(i prefer raspberry now.)
    toasted bread
    mayonnaise(i use yellow mustard now , whenever we have it)
    scrambled egg
    sweet ham/spam or whatever other deli meat we have)
    toasted bread

    If I’m not too hungry, I omit the center toast and pile the scrambled egg, and ham when available, in after the banana.

    i used to get EWWs from my elders. but it’s great! And then, on some hot summer days and we kids didn’t like to eat much, they allow us to eat mangoes or chips with rice. or stir ketchup into rice and eat it with fried fish.

    –> trying to post this again… crossing my fingers. thanks, michael!

  • Carolyn Jung

    Well, peanut sauce makes a mighty fine topping for shredded cabbage, so why the heck not? If Elvis could do peanut butter, fried eggs, and Fluffernutter, you should be able to eat that cabbage-crazy sandwich above. 😉

  • Carolyn in PDX

    Your sandwich made me think of my dad, who introduced me to peanut butter with liverwurst and mayo (we’re southern–every sandwich gets the mayo treatment) when I was too young to think it was odd. I still love it today, though I’ve never been able to get my own kids to try it.

  • Clyde

    Wow…I certainly would never have thought of this combination. I certainly would have no clue as to why these two would taste good together; but, hey, I’m game. I’ll give it a try. Do the two blend well in the stomach?

  • FoodPuta

    I’m usually pretty open to new ideas. You lost me on this one Ruhlman…

    I’ll just have to take you word on it 🙂

  • Tim Ross

    That sandwich is terrifying you are totally insane.



    P.S. Peanut butter banana and honey is where its at, it was the King’s sandwich of choice.

  • Gina

    Ever have one of those days where you rush to morning meetings all day and come lunch, you’re starving and just need to get the heck out of the office?

    That’s when my go-to lunch comes in – it’s a dish from our local Vietnamese restaurant – steamed rice, Romaine lettuce, pickled and julienned carrots with daikon radish, sliced cucumbers, your choice of soft pork skin or sauted shrimp, two thinly sliced pork chops, fish sauce infused with red pepper flakes – and the best, glorius part . . . this super crispy, egg-over-easy on top.

    A few weeks ago, I got up the nerve to ask them to forget the pork chop and just give me an extra egg. The yolk just melts into the sticky rice and is wonderful with the fish sauce.

    I’m sure you would’t want to get your cholesterol checked after this. But it’s hot, creamy, cool, crunchy, sweet, sour and salty all at the same time.

    I’m so addicted, I even make it for myself at home on the weekends.

  • Aaron

    The last couple days have been leftover sticky rice. Nuke the rice in a freezer bag, roll it into balls and dip it into a sauce of Lea & Perrins, sembal olek, soy sauce, fish sauce, and a modest squirt of honey.

    After the rice is gone and a bit of the sauce is left, mix the remaining with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter for a salty/sweet dessert!

    There is something satisfying about rolling sticky rice into bite sized balls and dipping them into an Asian inspired sauce with ones fingers–popping them in to your mouth and licking your salty/sweet fingers. The feeling is akin to rolling a huge snowball through fresh snow to make a snowman… especially when your nose is running from the heat of the sembal olek. Its just like the runny nose that accompanied a cold snowy afternoon outside.

  • gbig

    Salmon, white rice and dill pickles. Add a touch of soy. There is something about pickles and rice that I love.

  • Tania

    I make lamb broth soup with tomato paste, celery and carrot and onion… then I add some kind of small pasta (little stars – the finer the better)… not so crazy I guess but I always precede the meal with fresh garlic sliced on buttered toast.

    One of my quick night time meals is a pizza made with a souvlaki wrap for the base (which I always have on hand in the freezer), a whole can of crushed peeled tomatoes, big dollops of yoghurt (and of course basil). Variations include pancetta, mushrooms and zucchini and a bit of any strong cheese I might have on hand. (Goats, blue, parmezan, fetta). I would never make this for anyone else but I loooove it.

  • Felicia D'Ambrosio

    My boyfriend makes a sandwich from odds and ends we always have around… this is a real Philadelphia concoction!

    One Termini Brothers raisin tea biscuit, split and toasted in butter;

    Two slices bacon fried crisp and crumbled;

    Ricotta cheese smeared on one side of the biscuit;

    And very spicy hummous spread on the other.

    Mash together and eat lunch.

  • misty

    banana, milk, cocoa powder,and peanut butter swirled in a blender. honey or agave optional. I always drink it while cooking our main (3pm) meal. But I eat eggs and oatmeal everyday for breakfast so it doesn’t need to be a lot.

  • HenrysMom

    My mom regularly ate peanut butter, Miracle Whip and iceburg on toast as a lunch sandwich. >ack< My visit to this side of the tracks: triscuits, sharp cheddar and my homemade bread and butter pickles. mmmm, trashy.

  • ashleigh

    imitation crab meat, banana peppers, lettuce and tomato on whatever bread i have lying around. i LOVE it.

  • Emily

    Growing up on my grandma’s farm, in the summer we had summer sausage with grape jelly sandwiches on white bread. Still to this day, when I buy cured meats, I still have a craving for something sweet to spread on it!

  • Joli-oh

    Deli turkey and avocado on cinnamon raisin bread!
    Or avocado, apple, goat cheese, and alfalfo sprouts on walnut bread…

  • Edd T

    one of my favs is what I call Oeuf Cocotte.
    In a ramekin spay or coat with oil/fat then a slice of bread to shape if possible soak with a little 1/2 & 1/2 and if I feel fancy, vanilla. Then some pork product, par-cooked bacon, thin ham well season, of my fav procuitto. Put an egg on top throw in the toaster oven 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes.

    Eggs pouched in diced onions tomatoes and basil.

    Don’t know about your cabbage with PB I think that would be too bitter. Maybe I will experiment with other greens on my sandwiches, baby spinach maybe.

  • Madelyn

    Our family recipe for BLT’s include peanut butter (no tomato…BLPB?). Kind of goes along with RyanJ’s peanut butter mayonnaise sandwiches. They are reaalllyyy good

  • Alan Goodrich

    Have you ever tried peanut butter and sweet pickles sliced thinkly? Great lunch!

  • tutashen

    um you might laugh but I go for walks now the weather is nice an almost always find a few beer bottles two gives me twenty cents enough to buy a package of chinese instant noodles an I pick dandilion leafs on the way i chop the leafs up an toss in the cold water then add noodles when its boiling if i have a piece of fish or some meat left over add that basicly eating for free an I just love those noodles so quik to make

  • mandy

    I tried your sandwich–it was awesome. The cabbage made the peanut butter taste even sweeter. I remember seeing a peanut butter and lettuce tea sandwich in a cookbook from around 1900 (Google Books), so this is not that far fetched.

  • Knight Online

    I don’t usually eat lunch and now that I’ve seen what you eat, I know I’m on the right path. Wow, that’s funky brother. Thank

  • Heather

    I just dropped by to tell you that I am snacking on cabbage with peanut butter today. Thanks….never would’ve put the two together had I not recalled this post when hungry and finding a small amount of leftover cabbage in the fridge!

  • laura

    it’s super late to comment on this, but i came upon it after making a discovery. tonight i was making cabbage soup, and i was munching on the cabbage in between boiling and stirring. i’d never tasted raw cabbage before (silly, i know), and the second i put the first bite into my mouth, i instantly thought “this needs peanut butter.” i took a little wedge and smeared some on out of curiosity – i’m not one to deny unmistakable food instincts when they strike me – and IT WAS AWESOME. the cabbage is slightly sweet and nutty with a firm crunch, topped with peanut butter…amazing. i realize it’s normal to make cabbage stir fries or slaws with asian peanut sauce, but something about the purity of the cabbage + peanut butter combo is really delicious.

    can’t wait to try this sandwich!!!